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Dementia will bankrupt the world’s healthcare systems over the next few years, according to an expert.
Ralph Nixon, vice chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Council, was addressing the Alzheimer’s Association international conference in Vienna.
He said: “There are now more than 26 million people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia around the world.
“The cost of caring for these people, and those who will get it in the next few years, will bankrupt the world’s healthcare systems.
“But there is hope. There are currently dozens of drugs in clinical trials… which have the potential to change the landscape of Alzheimer’s in our lifetime.
“How fast we get there depends completely on the investment in research. We need more government and private dollars for Alzheimer’s research now to capitalise on the progress we’ve made in the last decade.”
He cited advances in therapies targeting two abnormal brain proteins – beta amyloid and phosphorylated tau – and work on mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a research category used to define the state between normal ageing and Alzheimer’s.
Copyright Press Association 2009